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Salt Lake County Regional Development News

Salt Lake County Names Helen Peters as New Regional Planning & Transportation Director

October 04, 2021

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Helen Peters smiling for the camera.

Helen Peters, Salt Lake County's Regional Transportation Program Manager, was recently appointed Regional Planning & Transportation Director.

Helen has worked with Salt Lake County for more than four years on managing the County's transportation portfolio and collaborating with regional partners and governmental entities to provide expertise on transportation, land use, and funding. She’s highly regarded for her deep knowledge and technical skills in these areas that are critical to maintaining residents’ quality of life.

“I see all my work in transportation as a way of serving the question of, 'How do you give people from all backgrounds equitable access to opportunity?'” Helen Peters said.

In her new role, she will focus on how Salt Lake County can prioritize sustainable regional growth and continue to coordinate with partners and agencies to lead Salt Lake County’s efforts to implement the Wasatch Choice for 2040 Vision; coordinate countywide input and implementation of the Wasatch Front Regional Transportation Plan; and manage the Planning and Transportation Advisory Committee; as well as collaborate with Mountainland Association of Governments (MAG), Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), and Utah Transportation Authority (UTA).

"She brings an appreciation for the distinct differences between local and regional planning and transportation, as well as a recognition that collaboration with municipal partners is critical to a strong region," Dina Blaes, Director of the Office of Regional Development, said.

Regional Planning & Transportation is currently actively involved in the Millcreek Canyon Federal Land Access Program grant; crafting the West General Plan; and facilitating regional solutions discussions about housing and planning, among other responsibilities.

“Our collaboration with public officials and regional partners helps us to create a vibrant Salt Lake County,” Helen said. “There are always challenges to rapid growth, but the Regional Planning & Transportation platform allows us to serve residents by contributing to communities of opportunities.”

Prior to working at the County, Helen was a transportation and policy planner at J-U-B Engineers and Parametrix. Outside all things transportation and planning, Helen enjoys live theatre and chocolate.


Phone: 385-468-4860


Wondering What the Air Quality is Like Today? Look to These 3 Sources for Forecasts and Real-Time Pollutant Readings in Salt Lake County

September 22, 2021

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When bad air days settle in the Salt Lake Valley, we often get asked: Where's the best place to look for the air quality forecast or current pollution conditions? 

Salt Lake County is sharing three key sources residents can use at any time to better plan activities and travels to better protect your family's health and minimize pollution.

DEQ air screenshot.JPG

1. Utah Division of Air Quality

Utah Division of Air Quality's (DAQ) monitors represent the gold standard of monitor quality; they must meet federal requirements, so the monitors are the most accurate for studying nearby air. The data is then analyzed by a team of experts at DAQ who test to make sure the data is accurate. it is the official source for air quality data in the State of Utah.

Limits: There are only 12 monitors which cover all of the Wasatch Front. This limits the amount of detailed information available for residents since air quality can differ based on location. The quality of data is the best but doesn't provide enough detail at smaller geographic scales.


2. University of Utah MesoWest Air Quality Dashboard

The University of Utah operates and manages a network of research-grade stationary sensors across Salt Lake County and the State. TRAX's monitors are among some of the first mobile air monitors in the world using research-grade sensors. This system allows for real-time monitoring spread out over a larger area by accurate measurements of pollution along the TRAX route. The KSL News Chopper is the first and longest running aircraft platform with research-grade sensors.

The data is analyzed by a team of experts at the Atmospheric Sciences department from the University of Utah. The MesoWest website also incorporates other air monitor data sets, including Purple Air and DAQ data.

Soon, electric buses will also be a part of the monitoring network as the program expands to new UTA bus routes, allowing more specific readings across the County. This will provide residents more specific, neighborhood-level air quality readings.

Limits: Some of the data is tied to areas only where TRAX, electric bus routes, or other modes of transportation are able to travel.

Purple Air.JPG

3. Purple Air

Purple Air designs relatively affordable sensors to be purchased by the public. Sensors are now located all around Salt Lake County and the world, and the data is visible to everyone. This allows all residents to see air quality readings in a specific area on an online map.

Limits: Because the monitors are more affordable, they are less accurate and only record PM2.5 data.

Questions? Ask Salt Lake County's Sustainability Director Michael Shea. Email:

5 Leaders to Join Salt Lake County Housing Solutions Panel on Oct. 7

September 16, 2021

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As part of Salt Lake County's Regional Solutions event on Missing Middle Housing to be held October 7, five community and business leaders will join the event to provide insight and expertise on the current housing crisis.


Daniel Parolek smiling for the camera.Daniel Parolek — Keynote Speaker, Author, Architect

Daniel is a nationally recognized thought leader in architecture, design, and urban planning. His strong interest in diverse building types, at different scales that bridge architecture and urban planning, drove his desire to start Opticos in 2000. Prior to the panel, Daniel will give the event's keynote address as the special guest and expert in Missing Middle Housing.


A man in a suit and tie.Rep. Steve Waldrip — Utah Legislator

Steve brings experience in real estate development, law, government, and public/private partnerships to his service in the Utah Legislature. He serves as co-chair on the Commission on Housing Affordability. He was elected to represent Utah House District 8 in 2018. 

After completing undergraduate studies at Brigham Young University, Steve received a master's degree in taxation from the University of Washington and a law degree from the University of Utah.

Shawn Teigen with a mustache.Shawn Teigen — Utah Foundation VP & Researcher

Shawn has worked at Utah Foundation for nearly 10 years as its vice president and research director. He worked as a housing policy analyst with Community Action Partnership of Utah and for Utah's chapter of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials.

He serves on the board of several organizations, including past chairperson of the Salt Lake City Housing Trust Fund Advisory Board.

A woman with blonde hair.Natalie Gordon — North Salt Lake City Council Member

Natalie supports smart growth, responsible use of city resources, and collaborative decision making. Natalie served on the Planning Commission for seven years and is currently employed by the State Board of Education as a School Trust Specialist. 



A man in a suit and tie.Nate Pugsley — Builder, Brighton Homes Founder & CEO

Nate has been involved in the real estate and development industry for more than 25 years. Brighton Homes has extensive experience in developing and building Missing Middle homes along the Wasatch Front. Nearly 12 years ago, since he founded Brighton Homes, it has built more than 4,500 homes across the Wasatch Front, including in Herriman, Riverton, West Jordan, Midvale, and Murray.

The five panelists will answer questions around the housing crisis submitted by attendees at the event.

Register for the Event

Community members, municipal staff, elected officials, business leaders, and students can purchase early registration tickets at lower prices through September 24 at

It will be held at the Viridian Event Center in West Jordan, beginning at 11 a.m. and concluding around 3 p.m. As part of the event, attendees will be served a full lunch.

Salt Lake County to Hold Open House Training on Applying for CDBG Funding for 2022-23 Projects

September 15, 2021

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Salt Lake County will be holding an upcoming open house to provide training resources to area nonprofits and organizations applying for project funding during the 2022-23 program year.

Salt Lake County administers Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) funds, as part of a federal initiative supporting community development activities to build strong and more resilient communities. 

To do this, activities are identified and awarded by Salt Lake County through an ongoing process. Activities may address needs such as:

  • Housing stability
  • Infrastructure
  • Economic development
  • Public facilities
  • Community centers
  • Housing rehabilitation
  • Public services
  • Microenterprise assistance
  • Code enforcement
  • Homeownership assistance

During the open house, attendees will be able to network with CDBG staff countywide, as well as with recipients to better understand local funding priorities. 

Attendees will also be able to ask specific questions around eligibility and compliance for projects to build stronger more resilient communities.

The training will be held from 9 a.m. to noon September 30, 2021 at the Salt Lake County Government Center South Building Atrium. 

There will be morning refreshments provided during the training.

For more information on CDBG funds, visit Salt Lake County's webpage that includes a CDBG eligibility map, interactive address search tool, and program contacts.